Friday, June 11, 2021

4733 What (Not) to Name the Baby

  His name is Dan.


Names run in cycles. Maybe in fads. Time was, you could walk into a crowded room and yell “Hey Jennifer!” Half the girls or women in the room would turn around.  “Hey, Bob!” would do the same for men and boys.


Each year around now, someone will come up with lists of the most popular names for newborns. 


They’ve been collecting statistics like these for more than 100 years, most recently by the Social Security mavens.


This year there’s also a bottom for the chart.


Donald is fast approaching that coveted spot.


No one wants to name the baby “Donald.”  Well, not exactly “no one.”  The name has fallen from its lofty perch of 555th most popular in 2019 to 610th.


But as recently as the early 1990s it was within slow-pitch distance among the top 100.


Now, analyzing this sort of thing is kind of like analyzing a particular Wall Street security or giving a Rorschach test to your ex-spouse.  It’s iffy.  In fact, it took some doing to figure out why the name took such a nosedive when it did.


People like to name their kids after presidents.  There was one guy in the Bronx a long time ago, Franklin Delano Markowitz. I did not make that up.


“Ronald” wasn’t all that popular until one got elected. “Barack” made a tiny blip when Obama was elected.


But “Donald” is not only falling, it’s taking down names associated with it. “Baron,” “Jared,” “Ivanka,” and “Tiffany” are on the same downhill run.  And in the mid-90s, “Melania” was rising.  Now, it, too, has fallen. 


“Donald” is not alone.  The name “Karen” also is falling. Once popular, it has become a symbol for outrageously self-righteous, self-admiring, and otherwise irritating women.


The devastating hurricane “Katrina” sent that name circling the drain.  When Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn, that name and its variations plunged into the deep end off the high board. Monica dropped into the briny deep during the Clinton years.


Know anyone named “Isis,” once a deity now a symbol of terrorism?


My paternal grandpa was German and his name was Adolf.  You know what happened to that one. Just a little bad luck for gramps.


As for me?  Well, I could never get a straight answer from my parents about why they chose Wesley.  And for the record, I don’t like it. Never did. 


But I got even, though unintentionally.  Half the older relatives, born overseas could not pronounce the letter “W.”


I’m Ves Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re velcome to them. 


Any Questions?

© VR 2021.


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